For as little as $1.00, make a personalized notebook that's uniquely yours!
As a true nerdy teen, I loved nothing more than amazing school supplies — specifically, notebooks. Not everyone gets pumped about sticky notes and highlighters, and summer still stretches long before us, but a good notebook is useful anytime. Unfortunately, the sturdiest and most aesthetic ones tend to be a pricey. Instead of dropping a fortune on a notebook or journal, try this easy DIY to make one for as little as $1.00 that's unique and sure to survive a fun-filled summer (or busy school year).
Step 1: Pick your notebook.
This decision is as simple or complicated as you make it. If you draw or doodle, maybe blank or graph paper is best. Writers and students might prefer to stick with the basics. Journals, composition books, or spiral bound notebooks all work for this tutorial. I found my notebook — spiral bound, college ruled, 90 pages — for less than $1.00 at Target.
Step 2: Gather your materials.
Some of your supplies will depend on the type of notebook you chose, especially materials that will serve as the base for the cover. More on this in the next step. Other basics you will need are scissors, adhesive (glue sticks or liquid), and a cutting board or other durable work surface. Beyond these basics, the decoration supplies are completely up to you: photos, magazine clippings, markers, paint, stamps or stencils, decorative paper, glitter, and so on!
Step 3:Attach the base or cover.
To reinforce a slightly flimsy notebook, use cardboard or card stock. For a journal or composition book that's sturdy already, you can wrap the cover with decorative or plain paper. I used an old cardboard box to get the materials for my cover, using a box cutter for the major cuts. If you use a box cutter, be careful and look up the proper, safe way to use it before you start.
Start with an oversized piece of whatever material you're using. Coat the cover of the notebook with glue and press firmly against the cover material. Stack a couple of books or other weighty items on the paper and let them sit for a while; this will help the glue set and hold over time. After the glue has dried and held, trim the edges of the cover material.
Step 4: Decorate!
This is the fun part. Go nuts, or don't! I'm a fan of simplicity with pops of color and text, so I didn't layer very many pieces on my notebook. If you're designing for a specific purpose or class, spell it out in mismatched letters or add theme-appropriate doodles. Maybe leave blank spaces to add more over time.
For covers with glitter or little pieces, consider applying a sealing layer, such as Mod Podge or a spray sealant. Paper or photos can start to peel up over time, and everyone knows that glitter goes everywhere.
Also, you can repeat this same process for the back cover of your notebook, whether to keep it sturdy for as long as possible or to make it truly, entirely yours.